This Overland Expo (http://www.overlandexpo.com will go down in history as the “difficult” and “different” one. To put it mildly, the weather was not kind at all, and we all suffered. We arrived on a chilly afternoon and settled Ndeke Luka into the Tiger spot. We were soon joined by the the second Tiger show vehicle, a Bengal owned by Don, Barbie, and Mate Borinski, aka, “The Wanderers.” This was a thrill as Fred had perused their website for years during the design of Ndeke Luka. Donnie and Barbie produced mats and tents and all matter of things to make the site look better while Mate, the Australian Shepherd, supervised all aspects of the set up. It was windy and cold by evening, a foretaste of the weather to come. Mark Guild, the owner of Tiger Adventure Vehicles and his family arrived and it was fun to meet them and chat.
Friday dawned cloudy and cold and then after a little morning sunshine, the heavens opened and reduced the parking and camping areas to quagmires. We were warm and dry in the Tiger, but the floor soon disappeared under a layer of mud.
We swept when we could but it was a losing battle. The mud and weather were too much for many, and we noted a steady stream of cars departing early. (In some cases, only after being towed or colliding with other vehicles.) Saturday was worse, adding snow to the mix and the weather didn’t really clear up until Sunday. (Blue cat was unimpressed and retreated to his cabover bed. Needless to say, jailbreaks were not a problem!)
Due to some cross communications, Fred’s dual battery course was conducted in an open tent without audio visual support. The attendees moved in close, both to hear better and to keep warm. The second session was much better; moving out of the tent into a moment of sunlight and lining up the participants to play the roles of “Starter Battery,” “Camper Battery,” “Relay” and other exciting characters. (Those who may wish to learn more on this subject will find information at the “Documents” page of this Blog.) Fred also gave a course, “Know Before You Go”, that deals with preparation for international travel and what can be expected when it all goes wrong. (aka, How not to get arrested/sick/robbed overseas.) Fred was also a discussant on panels on “Bribes and Border Crossings” and travel in Africa.
Fred also slipped away to attend Rick Howe’s session on shipping an overland camper while Denise enjoyed the Rob Blackwell’s presentation on travel in Iran and Turkey.
Beyond being a trade show, Overland Expo is a gathering of the tribes and an opportunity to meet many of what Denise calls Fred’s “imaginary friends.” This year we caught up with:
The Blackwells (http://www.whiteacorn.com)
Lance and Michelle of EarthCruiser (http://earthcruiser.com)
The Turners (http://robinsonfuso.com)
Cam Stone and Kris (http://www.mojoegriddle.com)
And we met many new ones. Many hours were spent in deep (and, according to Denise, sometimes pedantic) discussions of all aspects of travel and vehicle design.
Jon and Emily offer their reportage and photos here: http://robinsonfuso.com/2015/06/04/flagstaff-may-12-13/
On Monday we retreated to Flagstaff to do laundry, clean out the Tiger, and generally collapse, and not necessarily in that order! We got some nice photos on the way out.